EW pundits wage Oscar war over 'The King's Speech'
Oscar war has broken out among pundits over at Entertainment Weekly where Dave Karger stubbornly holds fast to his prediction that "The King's Speech" will win best picture. Early this Oscar season, "King" reigned as the front-runner among most gurus, but now almost all notable experts have switched allegiance to "The Social Network" after its romp through the precursor prizes.
But Karger doesn't concede that "Social Network" is romping, not exactly.
"So many conflicting signals in the past few days," he writes. "'The Social Network' sweeps the Broadcast Film Critics and Golden Globe Awards, but then 'The King's Speech' trounces it at the BAFTA nominations, which, unlike the BFCA and Globes, are from a voting body that has significant overlap with the Academy. The upshot: My No. 1 Best Picture pick is hanging by a thread."
Karger's EW colleague Owen Gleiberman doesn't think it's hanging at all. Responding to Karger's latest, revised Oscar predictions, he writes a piece titled, "Here's why 'The King's Speech' (as good as it is) won't win Best Picture."
Gleiberman calls "Social Network" "the definition of a juggernaut. 'The Social Network' is also the hip, supersmart, brashly original, acclaimed-for-its-singular-vision choice, and the fact that it’s closing in on making $100 million gives all those qualities an added cachet."
"The movie that ends up winning the Academy Award for Best Picture often taps into and gives voice to something that’s happening in the culture at large," he adds. "It’s the first Hollywood movie to really capture the metaphysical spirit of the digital age." He defines "The King's Speech" as "an impeccable and shrewdly moving middlebrow entertainment, far more stirring to a lot of people than 'The Social Network' is. And, of course, it's got that whole classy British period monarch thing going for it. The movie may be old-fashioned, but that’s exactly its appeal."
Karger isn't the only pundit refusing to give up on "The King's Speech." Over at Gold Derby, Tariq Khan cites five reasons why it may still win best picture. Among them: "The King's Speech" will probably lead with the most Oscar nominations, and he believes it'll win the Screen Actors' Guild ensemble award.
-- Tom O'Neil
Photo: "The King's Speech" (Weinstein Co.)